Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan is to star as Billy The Kid in the upcoming film depicting the famous cowboy.
The film depicts Billy who was born to Irish immigrants in New York in 1859. After being orphaned as a teenager, Billy soon became one of the Wild West's most imfamous bandits of the 19th century.
Confirming the news, Banshees of Inisherin star Keoghan had this to say.
"We’ve seen many versions of Billy the Kid on screen before. My interest was in trying to tell a version that breaks from the facade of that cool, calm, and collected gunslinger Billy the Kid that we’re all used to seeing. I wanted to humanise him in a way", the actor told Deadline.
“I remember reading about him as a kid, but as we were digging into the project, there were so many things we discovered about his life. There are so many eyewitness accounts, and lots of different versions of his story that didn’t add up but that contributed to the legend.
“I wanted to step outside of the legend that was built up by the papers and tackle the pressure he must have felt from those early days. He was running his whole life".
He added, “I felt related to Billy in the sense of him being a mummy’s boy, but obviously, I took a different path, turning my circumstances into something positive rather than rebelling against them. Nevertheless, there’s a soul and a vulnerability to Billy that I think it’s important to bring, to understand him as a real person rather than the myth that he has become".
The fillm will see Bart Layton make his debut as a director, having directed 2012 documentary, The Imposter.
Layton himself claimed that this was a role tailor made for Keoghan.
“Our understanding of Billy the Kid is really the comic book version. But the more we researched and the more we discussed, the more it felt like something Barry was born to do", he said.
The film could be released late next year.